Defining the Win

HockeyA win for Key Ministry occurs whenever a child with a hidden disability or their family experiences a meaningful connection with their larger family in Christ through a local church.

I’ve found that church staff and volunteers can easily lose sight of the big picture when ministering to kids with disabilities.

A few years ago, our team was doing a training in Cincinnati in which one of the attendees expressed significant frustration with her assignment as a “buddy” to a boy with a moderate to severe developmental disability. Her frustration stemmed from his lack of interest in the lessons she’d been given to teach and she was questioning the time and energy she was devoting to the effort.

I pointed out that because of what she was offering the boy, his parents were in the worship center listening to the senior pastor’s teaching and his siblings were in classes and groups where other ministry leaders and volunteers were positioned to be a positive influence. None of which would have been possible if she wasn’t available to spend time with the boy with a disability and her church wasn’t intentional about wanting to welcome the boy and his family.

A couple of our team members were meeting with a potential funding source who didn’t see the value of a ministry that can’t produce data on the number of people who have come to Christ because of our efforts. While the ultimate “win” occurs when a kid with a disability or a family member comes to Jesus Christ through faith, we don’t have any control over that. After all, only God, through the working of the Holy Spirit is able to save anyone. Our job at Key Ministry is to arrange the opportunities for kids with mental illness, trauma or developmental disabilities and their families to explore the claims of Jesus.

The impact of the connection may extend far beyond the teaching and ministry offered to the child or teen with a disability. If the family can’t connect with a church, where will the parents learn how to be spiritual leaders in their home? Where will the siblings go to develop relationships with adults who are living out their faith on a daily basis? How will kids with “hidden disabilities” and their family members get the opportunity to use their spiritual gifts and talents to contribute to the work of the local church?

We may not be able to quote a potential funding source an exact number of the kids and families who have “prayed the prayer” because of our efforts in connecting families to churches but we’re blown away that God allows us to be part of His plan and just fine with Him getting all the glory.

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Updated January 24, 2014


600817_10200479396001791_905419060_nConfused about all the changes in diagnostic terminology for kids with mental heath disorders? Key Ministry has a resource page summarizing our recent blog series examining the impact of the DSM-5 on kids. Click this link for summary articles describing the changes in diagnostic criteria for conditions common among children and teens, along with links to other helpful resources!

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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1 Response to Defining the Win

  1. Beautifully said! Thanks to all of the volunteers and pastors who make this kind of ministry a priority for families all across the country.


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